Xero Hires Google's Stuart McLean to Lead Global Marketing Efforts

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By Frank Byrt

The young online accounting software company Xero announced a recent coup – hiring Stuart McLean away from Google Australia, where he was Cloud business applications development leader. McLean will lead Xero's worldwide sales and marketing team.

Xero is an online accounting software that's targeted for small- to medium-sized businesses. The company says more than 200,000 people in over 100 countries use Xero, which it claims "is the world's easiest accounting software to use."

McLean will work at Xero headquarters in Wellington, New Zealand, and serve officially in the new role of chief revenue officer, said Xero CEO Rod Drury in a March 8 press release. 

"The role reflects the strong growth Xero is experiencing in offshore regions, particularly in Australia, the UK, and the United States", Drury said. 

"He'll be a great addition to the team", Jamie Sutherland, president of US operations for Xero, told AccountingWEB.  

And the high-profile Google executive's move to Xero "shows that we're becoming more of a household brand. To have people coming over from Google and the like shows we're working on something pretty special."

McLean had been Google's "Head of Enterprise Australia New Zealand", and involved in building Cloud applications business for products such as Google Apps. Previously, he had worked in marketing Cloud services for the business software companies Oracle and NetSuite. 

Sutherland said Xero established a US office in San Francisco fourteen months ago and has about thirty employees working there, including himself. 

"We've spent a lot of time this year working with accounting professionals and influential people in accounting, educating them on [Xero]", which coincides with the huge growth of applications driving accounting to the Cloud, Sutherland said. "So what we've built dovetails with what's going on."

That's because Xero's creators designed the interactive online platform in 2006 "just as the Cloud came along and applications started getting steam", said Sutherland. "So the clean slate approach put us ahead of the competition in mobile and online computing [design]. It truly is next-generation accounting software."

Sutherland said Xero currently has about 135,000 monthly subscribers worldwide, resulting in a recurring revenue model. Its largest customer base is in New Zealand, followed by Australia, United Kingdom, and the United States.

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